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8 Ways To Boost Your Team Work Online

Ways to boost your team work online
Proven ways to boost the team work online for the remote environment

It finally happened! Companies came around to the idea of lettings their teams work online remotely. Of course there are those where it is not an option. As well as some companies that embrace it more than other.

But now your company has embraced working online. How do you embrace it, and have the same types of interactions and productivity when nobody is in person? After having worked remotely before, even before the pandemic, I have the below tips to help your team work online.

Here are the ways to grow your team work online

Embrace the idea of remote work

Speaking to leaders and team members alike. If you are going to work remotely, especially full time, then embrace it. Don’t keep one foot in the physical door, so to speak. Continuing to practice and work in a way that requires in person activities. Take advantage of all that remote offers and use it to full advantage.

Use technology that helps

Not just email and chat tools, because those are a given. Or even the ability to have video and audio calls. You also need good project/task tracking tools. As well as tools to whiteboard and express ideas visually.

Some tools to help with task tracking are things like Asana, Jira, or Trello. All are good examples, and there are more out there as well.

For white boarding, and sharing ideas virtually, some tools like Miro or Figma are good options. This is one of the aspects that suffers the most in the online environment.

As most other aspects of in person collaboration has been replace. But the ability to jot down ideas, and express concepts visually to a group. But also doing that on demand or live. That is something often missing in the remote environment. Make sure to have a tool that handles this to boost your team work online.

Communicate goals to help a team work online

Spend the time to discuss goals as a team. Make sure the goals are clear and make sense with everyone. This will go a long ways to completing goals successfully.

As with remote work, team members are more autonomous. They direct their efforts with less supervision. So if they know their goals more clearly, when there are questions of what to do, they can align their effort to goals without needing input.

Ensure processes are clear and understood

Discuss and outline processes that team members need to know. So that they can do their jobs effectively. Specifically getting into the who does what and when they do those tasks.

Enabling an understanding of the flow and roles of processes goes a long ways. It helps remote team members to expect work, or expect when they will get what they need. Avoiding downtime.

Have time set aside to connect about not work

This is a big one that helps work, but it is not about work. For really good team work online, set aside time to connect and not talk about work. Get to know each other and build rapport. It will go a long ways for building strong teams that communicate and collaborate well with each other.

Promote the idea of shared leadership and flattened decision hierarchy

Good teams practice more of a flattened decision hierarchy. So that those in the work and best know the details around the choices to be made can make those choices.

Not to say to not keep others in the loop. You also have to understand the difference between individual, team and decisions for leadership or a different group. But still, there is a lot the team can and should decide. Save time, build better, and let them.

For teams working online, the ability to make decisions is so important.

Make sure meetings meet the needs of the team members

Meetings can be a double edged blade. On one hand they are needed to share information, discuss and collaborate.

But on the other hand, if meetings are happening just to have meetings. Without meeting the needs to the team members. Team members will check out. Engagement drops and productivity of the meeting isn’t where it should be.

So watch the meetings. Keep them to essentials. But also ensure the meetings meet the needs of the team members, and not just leadership, etc.

Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more to grow the team work online

Communication is key in the remote environment. Because you don’t have the in person interactions, you need to communicate more in other forms. Have your stand up calls, send out blasts of informative but concise info on chat and email channels. Or create dashboards that show meaningful info.

The key is to communicate important information, but to keep it streamlined and useful. Without getting the info lost in less meaningful info. That will really grow the team work online.

Additional reading that can help increase the team work online

Another great read from the Harvard Business Review on how to make virtual teams work.